There’s a story behind this photograph. Notice how the numbers take a flying leap at N°4. Go on, double click the image but come back to me. So, Tubereuse clears N°5 clean. Notice too that pink Rossetto, the newest addition to Prada’s Exclusives collection (all ‘fresh’ roses, raspberries and violets…) also skips a number landing even, at N°14. A safer haven? Well, they say you should never sit 13 to a table. So would it be the bravest soul who’d dub a scent N°13? As for the N°5, why not Tubereuse N°5? A braver soul still?
So, as the collection’s numbers swell will we see a hop-and-a-skip at N°17? Yes N°17. For Chanel’s eponymous N°19 (green, slightly clinical floral to which many of us are returning) may be its next most recognised scent by number, but there is also N°18. One of Chanel’s lesser known scents, N°18 was ‘…built around a rose-iris accord [...] as beautiful as a freshly scrubbed face,’ says scent commentator, Luca Turin. I wonder if it commands the same wide birth as a N°5 or indeed, a N°13?
How patent-able a number? Time will tell.
Prada N°14 Rossetto, £120 at Selfridges, November 2012